Laurie Anne Hunter has been a friend of the Rogue Valley Chorale since 2002. She has served on the Chorale Board, accompanied the Chorale on the piano, and has filled in as Guest Conductor when the need arose. Upon the retirement of Lynn Sjolund after 40 years, Laurie was enthusiastically nominated and selected as the Chorale’s new Artistic Director.
A native of Pasadena, California, Laurie Anne Hunter received her B.A. from the University of Winnipeg and her Masters in Piano Accompanying from the Juilliard School in New York. She spent five seasons as an Assistant Conductor and Vocal Coach with the New York City Opera, becoming the fourth woman ever to conduct there when she made her Lincoln Center debut with Marc Blitzstein’s “Regina” in 1992. Guest conducting appearances followed with the New England Lyric Operetta, Skylight Opera Theatre in Milwaukee, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony.
She was Associate Conductor of Phantom of the Opera in Toronto and Showboat on Broadway. She has served as Assistant Conductor and Vocal Coach for the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Augusta Opera, Mobile Opera, Boston Concert Opera and the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s educational productions. She was also head of the music staff for two years at the Banff Centre’s Music Theater program in Canada. She worked with American Musical Theater of San Jose and the Seattle Opera before the Oregon Shakespeare Festival brought her to Ashland as Musical Director and Pianist for “Enter the Guardsman” in 2001. She has also served as Musical Director for the Oregon Cabaret Theater and Southern Oregon University’s Department of Theater Arts.
She has been on the faculty of the Hartt School of Music, the Israel Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, the Musicians Club of America summer Opera and Lieder Institutes in North Carolina, and is currently on the adjunct faculty at Southern Oregon University. She took up the harp while earning her certification from the “Music for Healing and Transition Program” and plays therapeutic harp music for Providence Cancer Center and Hospice in Medford. She is also the music director at the First Presbyterian Church in Ashland and maintains a private teaching studio for harp, singing and piano.